Mobile Security Tips for Business

Mobile devices play important roles in all our daily lives, they’ve become a part of our everyday routine. Even thinking about going a day without using your phone you’re probably cringing. Because these useful gadgets have become so reliant, it’s opened the door of hackers and security vulnerabilities. Your cell phone might be more threatening than you think, so you need to know how to keep it secure.  

Specifically, business owners may use their phones to keep confidential information about work or clients, do transactions, send important emails or messages, the list could go on. Business owners need to be concerned about how secure their phones are.

 

Passcode Lock

No brainer. Having a passcode locks could be a specific word, a number code or probably the most secure one to have is the user’s fingerprint to unlock the device.

 

VPN

Using a Virtual Private Network can help encrypt your connection so that you’re left with no worries when going online on a public network. Without having it, your personal information could be sniffed out from someone else using the same public network.

 

Encrypt Your Storage

When you are concerned about data confidentiality, encryption comes in handy. If your phone were to be stolen or gone missing, you can be assured that a third party won’t be able to gain access to all your data and information.

  

Downloading from Trusted Sources Only

Downloading files or applications from secure and trusted sources should already be something you do, if not, you need to start.

 

Password Your Wi-Fi

By securing a strong password for your Wi-Fi network, it will protect you from attempts at gaining access to your network without permission.

 

Have a Reliable Anti-Virus Software

With virus attacks being a lot more common now than ever, mobile devices are just as prone to virus attacks. Making sure you have a good anti-virus software is a great way to stay safe.

 

Back Up Your Phone

You should be doing this on a regular basis already. At least once every week or two.

 

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

Canada Day Long Weekend – Small Business Marketing Musts

Canada 150 is an Amazing Opportunity To Create Awareness and Interest in Your Business

Canada Day is a great opportunity to connect with your patriotic spirit. It’s a chance for people to come together, unite and celebrate all that makes Canada extraordinary. It’s also a way for your businesses to serve clients and give them a reason to participate in special promotions. Often, businesses fail to connect with their audiences on a personal level, and hence, fail to get to know their potential prospects as human beings. Canada Day is the perfect way to build such relationships.  However, you must have the right approach. Otherwise, you may not get any visibility, or even worse, receive a negative response.

 

Do Something Creative

Automatically you’ll catch people’s attention with a creative design, idea or story.  Whether it’s an email, postcard or an image on social media you’re sure to establish a more personal connection. Be sure to include a greeting that’s relevant to the Canada Day spirit!

 

Go That Extra Mile

Instead of trying to push sales or sell your products/services, present your prospects and clients with something that is of value to them. Whether it is a prize, a gift, food or some sort of gift card or coupon the act of giving will go a long way!

 

Host an Event

There’s no better way to establish relationships than meeting in person. This will require time and planning on your part, and involve an early invitation. Again, relevancy is key! BBQ’s are perfect because the provide a comfortable setting to make introductions and initiate relationships.

 

Always Plan Ahead of Time

When you plan your campaigns in advance, you’re being proactive, instead of reactive. This way, you’ve integrated your Canada Day message within your campaigns. When you visualize your campaign calendar, it becomes much easier to plan for it. Not only is this helpful with saving you time, but the end recipient has a much more remarkable experience with your marketing.

 

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

Sears Canada Bankruptcy – What Happened?

 

Some people will say that Sears problem was having the perfume counter at the entrances of the stores, effectively and automatically excluding anyone sensitive to perfume as they didn’t want to walk past the fragrances to reach the rest of the merchandise.

 

However that’s not it, part of the problem is simply that Sears’ clientele is generally older and less interested in online shopping. “The reality is, when your top line falls as significantly as it has and your customer base doesn’t buy online — they are middle-aged to older, and they shop the store — as much as you try to shift channels to online, it’s just not happening,” one former executive said.

 

Centered on the hashtag “#wevechanged,” the brand launched a marketing campaign and had opened a pop-up in Toronto designed to bring attention to its new product lines, which are aimed largely at a younger demographic.

 

It should have been a simple transition from catalogue to the internet – but what happened? Sears didn’t evolve quick enough and the company got stuck in a prior decade and didn’t cater enough to the new generation of spenders. They fell behind in being modern and welcoming the Gen X and Gen Y customers, who are the main spenders these days. The window of opportunity to transition from paper to online closed quicker than they thought.

 

“Assess the potential of your company assets and pay attention to your competitors’ growth strategies.” Business owners need to stay on top of their company’s assets and keep an eye on their competition, changes in the marketplace and your consumer’s expectations. They just launched a new rewards program to boost its already prime service. Always stay up to date with retail trends whenever possible as they are always changing.

 

“Your business must be mindful of how to add value for your customers.” In comparison, a company like Amazon, has been able to provide value for customers by perfecting the challenge of online retailers, which is the supply chain. They shorten wait times and have hassle-free returns addressing the two biggest pain points of the online experience.  By doing so they have opened a new channel for external partners. Consider what kind of value can your business add.  Perhaps special services for online customers, buy online and pick up in store. Your customers will love these because it’ll make their overall experience shopping with you easier.

 

With the growth of technology over the last decade, the ability for businesses to quickly adapt and accommodate for changing customer expectations will only become more important as technology becomes more advanced.

 

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

 

Things to Watch for In a Small Business Loan

 

A reliable way to get some extra capital for your business is a small business loan. Whether it’s for covering your startup costs, or it’s to fuel a new initiative, getting a small business loan is both exciting and nerve-wracking. It’s important to pay attention to the type of loan you’re getting into, if you aren’t careful, you could end up with something that’s almost impossible to pay back.

 

Interest Rates

Obviously, you want the lowest interest rate possible, but the interest rate you get will depend on a few factors. Your credit history and the terms of the loan you’re seeking to get are the main ones. If you want a lower interest rate, you may have to sacrifice some other preferences to compensate for it.

 

Terms of the Loan

If you’re thinking long-term, or if you don’t have an existing stream of revenue to help you with the monthly payments, you might consider the longest term possible, ranging many years into the future. However, do be aware that paying off your loan early can result in a prepayment penalty – so remember to pay attention to that in the conditions of the loan.

 

Expansion

If you’re looking to invest in expansion, you may me tempted to get the most amount of money you qualify for; after all, having access to more capital gives you more flexibility, and will save you time if you need to borrow more down the road. Always start by outlining the fundamental costs that you’ll need to cover for your business. Don’t just guess, do your research, talk to your peers and calculate your best guess for what these needs will cost you.

 

Financial Institution

Of course, you’ll want to go with the provider that can offer your business the best deal, but the working relationship you’ll have with the loan provider also matters. If you already have a history with one institution, it may increase your likelihood of getting a better deal with them in the future, so be sure to take that into consideration when deciding your line of credit, loans, and checking accounts.

 

After these steps, you should start meeting with different lenders in your area and see what they have to offer. Just remember to read the fine print carefully, and only move forward when you’re confident about the long-term benefits of your decision.

 

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

 

Small Business Survey Favors Bullfrog

Over 80% of Small Businesses Would Buy Insurance Online

 

Earlier this year Bullfrog Insurance took the opportunity to survey thousands of small businesses to better understand how these customers perceive insurance, how knowledgeable they are about business risks and how receptive they are to the concept of a digital brokerage.  The results of this endeavour were exceptionally eye-opening.

 

Many Businesses Are At Risk

As many of our customers are first-time buyers, we had anticipated that a fair amount of the people who filled out the survey would confess to not having insurance.  We were taken aback slightly when the numbers came in however.  A disturbing 35% of small businesses who filled out the survey confirmed that they did not have insurance coverage. To put that into perspective, consider all the products and services you make contact with in a given day – now consider the idea that more than 1 in 3 of them may not have business insurance.

 

 

 

Reasons and Realities

Small business owners are busy people stretched in a thousand directions, so the idea of taking up precious time to deal with a broker and file forms during business hours is something they are inherently averse to.  This was confirmed by results that said 22% of them viewed the process of obtaining insurance as “too complicated”.  Many were also under the somewhat unfounded impression that insurance is “too costly”.  Each day clients are stunned to find out Bullfrog Insurance has General Liability policies available from as little as $350 a year.

 

 

Ready for Digital

Bullfrog Insurance specializes in selling business insurance online because we believe business owners are busy people who want to get coverage when they want, not when brokers are available.  Therefore we asked small business owners how they felt about the idea of buying insurance online.  We were pleased to find a very decisive number of respondents confirming they were willing to buy insurance online.  Over 80% of respondents confirmed they would buy insurance online. Beyond those there were 4% who confirmed they were not even aware you could buy coverage online.  What a pleasant surprise!

 

 

Conclusions

While the Bullfrog Insurance survey made it apparent that there are still a large number of business owners who do not understand or see the value of obtaining coverage to mitigate against unforeseen risks, it did confirm that the majority of business owners do appreciate the importance of insurance.  It was also clear that the industry still has a fair amount of work to do to further educate customers, reduce complexity and dispel myths about the costs of insurance and the difficulty of obtaining coverage.  Beyond this, it was encouraging to see that customers do want to have the option to shop and buy insurance online and will take steps to get coverage online whenever possible.

 

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

Small Business Call Center Technology

Call Centre Technology You Need To Stay Ahead

 

Being able to offer exceptional customer service is the primary goal for call centers, whether they are focused on inbound calls, outbound calls, SMS, chat or social interactions. Depending on organizational needs, call centers can implement an array of different technologies. These technologies can help businesses rethink the way they serve clients, so that they are providing better service and utilizing resources more effectively.

 

CTI – Computer Telephony Integration

CTI is a type of technology that enables computer and telephone systems to interact together. When agents using, CTI receive incoming calls, a screen pop up is displayed, showing the caller’s account information on the agent’s computer screen. This saves time for both parties by giving the agent the customer info they need to lead the call and solve the problem.

 

ACD – Automatic Call Distributer

This telephony system recognizes, answers and routes incoming calls to the terminal or agent that is best suited to handle the caller’s needs. Knowing where to send incoming calls before they are answered is a huge help for companies receiving a large volume of calls. It also helps meet the customer’s needs more efficiently.

 

CRM / Call Center Serving Application

CRM software gives agents all the customer info they need to solve a customer’s needs as quickly as possible. Agents can also use the servicing application to document customer interactions that can be brought up if the caller needs more help in the future. These systems enable an organization to provide insight to all customer interactions across business units.

 

Call Recording Systems

This is helpful should an agent or manager need to review what happened on a call. More advanced recording systems can record calls, as well as any other interactions associated with the call, such as emails and chat sessions. Call recording can be historical or in real-time, allowing call center supervisor to intercept an off-script or out of the norm call and provide on demand coaching.

 

Having all the technology in place, so that your businesses’ call center can run smoothly is crucial if you want to give your customers an experience worth repeating. Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

How To Avoid Summer Burnout

Summer is coming – here’s how to avoid getting “burnt out”.

 

Summers are hard for a lot of businesses. Business slows down and the calls of the beach and BBQs make it mentally difficult to stay inside and focus on growing your business. Even though you love your business and want to see it grow, you can start to feel a little burnt out and less productive than you should be. We’ve all been there! Here are some tips to help avoid that summer burnout, so you can enjoy your business and the nice weather.

 

Put more focus on the things you value: Go grab a pen and paper and write down everything that you did last week. How many times you tweeted, wrote an article, time spent on emails, etc. Then cross off everything that you did that didn’t provide value to your business. By doing that you’re likely to find that you waste a lot of hours doing work that you don’t really have to do, stuff you just picked up along the way. Use the summer months to rid yourself of these “extra: tasks to help you re-focus your effort on the things that do provide to your business.

 

Revamp your business: It’s not the amount of work that causes us to feel burnt out; it’s the type of work.  When you’re working smart and being innovative, you feel like you can go all night. Your body isn’t tired, your mind is. Take the summer to jump-start things and get a little daring. Doing so will help you come up with exciting new marketing plays for your business and it will also help you mentally reinvest in what you’re doing.

 

Re-adjust expectations: Our lives tend to get a little busier in the summer. If you’re starting to feel a little burnt out trying to squeeze in the same amount of work in a shortened amount of time, it may be time to readjust your expectations. Shorten your “To Do” list and allow yourself some extra slack. Your sanity will thank you later. So will your children.

 

Treat yourself: Put the fire back into your business by taking some time to invest in it and in yourself. The summer months are often chock-filled with networking opportunities. There’s an increased number of conferences, seminars, webinars and networking events – take advantage of them. However, you decide to do it, the best way to feel inspired is to arm yourself with new information and techniques for growing your business.

 

It’s okay to feel a little less excited about working during the summer months. However, by changing things up a bit, realigning your expectations and finding new ways to fuel your flames, you’ll find that this summer may be the most exciting one you have yet.

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

Fraud Protection For Small Business

Fraud Management Tools for Every Small Business

 

If you’re a small business owner that accepts payments, both in-person and online, protecting your customer’s sensitive data is crucial. It not only saves you money from having to pay for any chargeback fees, but it also builds trust among your customers for future purchases.

 

Even if your business has never experience fraud before, it’s important to know that the threat is there. It’s better to play it safe then lose everything, check out the following fraud management tools that could help your small business.

 

Fraud.net

If your small business already has a fraud management program, this tool can work with it or as a full-service solution on its own. It’s capable of targeting fraudsters, predicting their behaviour and containing data breaches. All of which can save your business from a PR nightmare.

 

Simility

Like Fraud.net, Simility uses machine learning to discover any fraudulent behaviour before anything serious is done. The data is presented in a clear and actionable manner and is very simple to install. It can also be customized for a wide range of industries.

 

Chargeback

This tool integrates with PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net and Shopify and provides insights and reports so that you can make more informed decisions. It will give you a notification when a card has been deceived so that you can take the appropriate actions, like cancelling recurring billing. Also, notifying the customers so that you can resolve any disputes before they escalate.

 

There are plenty of different methods and programs your small business can use to help prevent fraud, even though these tools can help reduce the risk of fraud, you also need to educate your team and customers to be vigilant, learn from other breaches and audit your point-of-sale-systems consistently.

 

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

Business Website Checklist

A checklist to help you build a terrific business website

 

The greatest part about being online, it that it technically never closes. With that being said, it’s definitely worth your while to build a website for your small business. If your customer can’t find what they came for or your site is too complex to navigate, you’ve just lost a customer.

 

FAQ

Your frequently asked questions page should be the one-stop shop for any potential questions. Most websites will have an FAQ section, but will often fail to provide a detailed and complete set of answers. Your goal is to get your customer’s questions answered as quickly as possible. The more detailed your FAQ section is, the less work you’ll create for your customer service department.

 

Clear Description of Product and Service Offerings

This may seem like a no-brainer. The truth is, many websites fail to provide a clear description of their products or services offered. They often focus too much on the marketing and sales jargon which may actually turn away prospective buyers. Listing out your products and services clearly will also help boost your overall SEO as well.

 

Meet the Team or About Us Page

People like to do business with people. By providing an ‘About Us’ page that will give your potential customers insight on the faces behind the business and what your purpose is. Your ‘About Us’ page should have the following:

  • How the business was formed and what guides your business philosophy.
  • What your business provides based on your customer’s needs.
  • How your business differentiates from your competition and how you plan to tackle your specific niche.
  • Who are your core team members and include a brief background.

Optimized Payments

If your small business website also serves as an online store, then it’s important that you provide your customers an optimized payment experience. Look to integrate with a payments platform that best fits your small business needs. Payment fees and pricing will vary quite a bit across providers, solely because each business has different payment needs.

Think about what’s required to attract and retain your customers. For starters, implement these four essential items if you haven’t done so already.  Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

Startup Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid these mistakes to ensure success for your start-up!

While entrepreneurs focus on the expected and worthwhile rewards of starting a new company, not as many are aware of some potential pitfalls to avoid along the way. When you become aware of what mistakes to avoid, it will help boost the chances that your new business will succeed.

 

Don’t Choose a Partner with Nothing Different to Offer

When creating a start-up, sometimes you can’t just pick your best friend who you have everything in common with. It carries a number of important advantages and it’s critical that your partner brings something different to the start-up from your skill set.  As you build new business parent relationships, make sure each partner you bring on brings his or her own unique offering. This will allow you to combine all skill sets into one plan of action that increases your company’s revenue and growth.

 

Lack of a Marketing Strategy

Everything is constantly changing, that is even more true when it comes to marketing tools and strategies. You can’t just have the right marketing strategy; you must also know how to deliver it effectively in today’s technology-based world.  You always want to deliver an impactful message.

 

It’s Not Just About the Money

A hefty paycheck can motivate anyone. But your work should be more than just for the paycheck. If you sincerely enjoy the work you perform through your start-up, you’ll care that much more about seeing it succeed.

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

Of course, there are mistakes you should always avoid, but being afraid of making any mistakes at all can hurt your company more than help it. You may never achieve your goals if you’re too afraid to take any steps toward reaching them.  Always analyze major decisions, but don’t over analyze.  Accept that there will be some risk involved in forming and growing a start-up.

 

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

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